EPL Season 2016/17: Midweek Catch-up Games

Chelsea v Watford

Tuesday May 16, 5:00am AEST

The Blues secured the title on Friday night at West Brom and their lap of honour comes here in front of their own fans, with another home game to follow against Sunderland on the weekend. Watford have little left to play for as they can’t go down but they suffered their fourth straight defeat last time out as they went down 1-0 at Goodison Park.

Having gone 11 games without a clean sheet, the Blues have won without conceding in their last three. They’ve won 15 of their 17 home games and have been particularly emphatic in victory over the lesser sides: they’ve won all four visits from bottom-six sides to date, with each of these victories by more than one goal, whilst they led at the break in three of these and conceded just once across them.

Watford are without a goal in four and in six on their travels. They’ve been well-beaten in their trips to top-four sides to date, going down 6-1 at Liverpool, 2-0 at City and 4-0 at Spurs and we could see another heavy defeat here. The Hornets are without centre backs Cathcart, Kaboul and most significantly Britos. Of the last 17 games the Uruguayan has missed, Watford have lost 11 of those, trailing at the break at both half-time and full-time in each of the last five on the road. We’re backing Chelsea to win to nil and to be ahead at half time and full time, since Watford have trailed at the break in four of their five trips to top-six sides so far.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Chelsea Win to Nil at 2.24

 BACK – Chelsea/Chelsea HT/FT at 1.82

Arsenal v Sunderland

Wednesday May 17, 4:45am AEST

The Gunners continue their bid for Champions League qualification with their dreams kept alive after their win at Stoke, but with Liverpool getting the job done at the London Stadium, Arsene Wenger will be hoping that either the Reds fail to beat Boro on the final day, or that City slip up against West Brom and Watford. Sunderland have only pride left to play for and will hope they can avoid the wooden spoon, though that seems unlikely as they go to Chelsea next.

The Gunners continue to impress since playing with three at the back as they’ve won five of their six games since Wenger introduced that tactic, keeping three clean sheets. They’ve won their last three at the Emirates without conceding and are generally pretty reliable when hosting the lesser sides: they’re W11-D1-L1 at home to sides below them in the table this term, whilst they’ve kept a clean sheet in all five of their home games against relegated teams since the start of last season.

Sunderland had lost and failed to score in four straight away games prior to their win at Hull and they reverted to type with their 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea last time out, the tenth time they failed to net in 12. It’s been a while since they travelled to a top-six side but they’ve failed to score at home to Spurs and both Manchester clubs recently and so we expect the Gunners to win this one without conceding and keep up the pressure on Liverpool and City.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Arsenal Win to Nil at 1.8

Manchester City v West Brom

Wednesday May 17, 5:00am AEST

Man City followed up their 5-0 thumping of Palace with a 2-1 home win over Leicester and as a result a victory here would all but secure their top four spot by virtue of their superior goal difference over Arsenal. West Brom, on the other hand, slumped to their fifth defeat in six games as they went down 1-0 at home to Chelsea, meaning they’re certainly not guaranteed a top-half finish with Southampton, Bournemouth and Leicester all breathing down their neck.

City have lost just once at the Etihad this term, winning three of their last four there and leading at the break in each of those victories. They’ve kept only five clean sheets in their 18 home games so far, but they have a good chance of adding to that tally against a West Brom side that’s had severe problems in front of goal in recent weeks.

The Baggies have failed to net in six of their last seven and since they went down 2-1 at Anfield early on in the season have failed to score in their five subsequent trips to teams above them in the table. They managed a goalless draw at Old Trafford and were only beaten 1-0 at Chelsea and Arsenal, though they went down 4-0 at Spurs. As a result, we’re a little weary of backing the home win and under 2.5 Goals, particularly with Jesus continuing to impress since returning from injury, and so instead we’ll back the home win to nil.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Manchester City Win to Nil at 1.91

Southampton v Manchester United

Thursday May 18, 4:45am AEST

Southampton picked up their first win in six as they won 2-1 at Boro to move up to ninth, and now trail West Brom on goal difference alone. United, meanwhile, followed their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal with a 2-1 loss at White Hart Lane, and so will have to rely on winning the Europa League to secure their spot in the Champions League next term as they have little left to play as far as the league is concerned.

The Saints have failed to score in three at home, with two of those against Arsenal and Man City. Indeed, they’ve struggled when hosting the top teams so far, managing only one goal from the five visits of top-six sides. However, it was only Chelsea that led at the break against them so they have nonetheless proven competitive before losing the second half in four of these five games.

While they’ve picked up only two points from their five trips to the sides above them this term, United have won all five on their travels at teams between seventh and 13th and so they look a big price at 2.9, though we do expect this to be a cagey affair between two sides who are struggling for goals at the moment. Jose Mourinho has only once suffered three straight Premier League defeats, last season with Chelsea, whilst he also gone five games without a win just once and while the Europa League is of course the priority, he’ll expect his side to bounce back from those defeats in North London here. As well as backing the half-time draw, we’re siding with United on the Asian Handicap.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Half-Time Draw at 2.12

 BACK – Man Utd 0 Asian Handicap at 2.07

Leicester v Tottenham

Friday May 19, 4:45am AEST

Leicester went down 2-1 at Man City last time out and so they’ve dropped down to 11th, though a top-half finish is certainly within reach as they trail West Brom in eighth by only two points. Spurs, meanwhile, bounced back from their disappointing defeat at West Ham with a 2-1 home win in their final game at White Hart Lane to secure second.

Leicester have won all five of their home games since Shakespeare took over as they’ve scored an impressive 13 goals across these whilst conceding just twice. However, the Foxes have a number of injury concerns ahead of this fixture, most notably Drinkwater. Leicester beat City earlier in the season without the Englishman, but in the nine matches he’s missed this season they’ve kept just one clean sheet and conceded at least twice on seven occasions. With Huth and Morgan also likely to be out, it’s unsurprising to see Spurs at 1.91 here.

However, it’s not a price we’re particularly keen on backing as six of Spurs’ seven away wins this term have come at sides in the bottom-eight. They’ve shut out their opponents in only five of their 17 away games so far and that together with Leicester’s defensive absentees means that we expect there to be goals here, particularly with the likes of Eriksen, Alli and Kane remaining in impressive form. We’re backing Over 3.5 Goals.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Over 3.5 Goals at 2.94

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